The department of transport recently launched the online transaction facility for payment of taxes and fees of commercial vehicles and has replaced the traditional queue system with a token system. NT BUZZ visited the department to know about the technological development and to get people’s take on this change
SHERAS FERNANDES | NT BUZZ
The recently launched online transaction facility for the payment of taxes and various permit fees of commercial vehicles is a step by the government towards a cashless society. India is on its way to complete digitisation and in this backdrop Goa isn’t far behind. It has been almost a week now since the launch of the online service and the replacement of the queue system with the token system. On a visit to the department we spoke to a few citizens who were at the office; while some were happy about the change, others expressed their concern over the problems that the department is grappling with.
Token system over queue system
With the switch from queue system to token system, citizens have to take a token number from a machine affixed outside the department’s office and wait for his turn to be announced or flashed on the screen. This means people don’t have to stand in long serpentine queues, and also not worry about people breaking the system. “The token system is a good initiative. Earlier I would stand to get my work done; now I have to sit and wait for my turn to come. That is the only difference as of now,” says 58-year-old Paresh Bhangle from Margao.
Another citizen from Calangute, Ravindra Vengulekar says that now that the token service has been introduced his time can be used optimally. “The token system has allowed us to use our time well, earlier we would have to stand in the queue but now we can take a token number, go out to finish off other work and return before our number is called,” says Ravindra.
Ackdin Pereira from Betalbatim who was in the office to inquire about her permit that she expected to arrive home by post says: “The queue system was hectic as you would have to stand in a queue for long, the token system is much more reasonable as you can sit and wait for your number to flash on the screen without much hassle,” she says.
The Speed Post service
The department has begun sending out the Registration Copy of vehicles, driving licence and permit to the respective owners through Speed Post. “Earlier I would have to come twice to the head office, once to submit the application and the second time to collect it. The department has been sending the permits through Speed Post thus reducing my visits to the head office,” says Paresh. Many citizens expressed their happiness over the postal service being used while others were of a different opinion. “The department has started sending permits by post and this is of great help,” says Kalpesh Shetye from Caranzalem. Madhu Traz from Bambolim however feels that it is better to physically collect the permits from the office, “We do not get the post for four or sometimes, five months. Whereas you get it within 10 days if you collect it from the office,” he says.
Cashless or tender extra change
The use of debit and credit cards aided by the point of sale (PoS) machines installed at the respective offices seems to be helping citizens who have not carried change or are running short of cash. “We have to tender extra change for every transaction we make but I think that the PoS machines will help every citizen who has to make a transaction here,” says Akshay Gawas from Calangute.
The online transaction facility
While many are unaware of the facility, others prefer to use the physical mode of transaction despite all odds. “I have tried the online service system but I feel its long and tedious unlike other online services for example, SIM card registration. Hence I prefer to come to the office to get my work done,” says Santosh Agarvadekar from Siolim. Ravindra adds: “No doubt the online transaction facility will be of great help to all vehicle owners but for those who are not able to use this service, they will have to visit the office to complete their work.”
Is this how favouritism ends?
This comes as a huge relief to the system as well as the citizens, and will discourage the acquisition of licenses, payment of fees to the transport department through illegal means like bribes and influence. “The introduction of token system and online transaction facility will mean an end to brides and services rendered on the basis of influence,” says Kalpesh.